According to the Chiefs
In 1766, Samuel Kirkland, an American missionary, began living with the Oneida. He adopted many of their customs, but at the same time preached Christian ways. He was largely responsible for persuading the Oneida to abandon their neutral stance and support the Americans. Skenandoah, who was a close personal friend to Samuel Kirkland, began sending some warriors to help the Americans.
When George Washington’s men were starving at Valley Forge, Skenandoah sent baskets of corn. Skenandoah also informed residents of German Flats, New York, that Joseph Brant and the British Loyalists were going to raid their town. The settlers were able to save themselves, but lost all their property and possessions. In recognition of Skenandoah’s invaluable support, George Washington named the Shenandoah Valley after him. Following the American Revolution, Skenandoah remained the principal chief of the Oneida. In 1816, Skenandoah died. Per his request, he was buried next to Samuel Kirkland at Hamilton College cemetery in Clinton, New York.
Mrs. Mecomber reports that the boulder’s plaque says:
This marks the site of the last home of SKENANDOAH Chief of the Oneidas, “The White Man’s Friend.” Here he entertained Governor DeWitt Clinton 1810, and many other distinguished guests, and here he died in 1816 aged 110. He was carried on the shoulders of his faithful Indians to his burial in the cemetery of Hamilton College, Clinton, NY, and laid to rest beside his beloved friend and faithful teacher Rev. Samuel Kirkland.
“I am an aged hemlock- the winds of an hundred winters have whistled through my branches . I am dead at the top. The generation to which I belonged have run away and left me.” Skenandoah.
Erected 1912 by Skenandoah Chapter, N.S.D.A.R. Oneida, NY